LONDON — Weber Shandwick's UK chairman of corporate financial and public affairs Jon Mcleod, who is also chairman of its Manchester office, is leaving this month after 21 years with the firm.

McLeod is one of the UK’s most experienced corporate communicators and lobbyists. He joined Weber Shandwick in 1997 after a stint as a financial and legal journalist, and has led Cannes Lions-winning campaigns during his time at the agency.

Weber Shandwick EMEA CEO Tim Sutton said: “It is with great sadness, but also considerable gratitude that I have to announce that Jon McLeod is to leave Weber Shandwick. Jon approached me earlier in the year to say that he was looking for another challenge. Of course, I respected that decision and wish him every possible success in his new ventures. With Colin Byrne, he is the person who has done most to define Weber Shandwick’s UK corporate and political offer over very many years and should feel very proud of his contribution to the company."

McLeod said: “WS is an extraordinary company packed with extraordinary talent. I am grateful to Tim and the impressive range of colleagues and clients that I have worked with over the past 21 years. Transforming the practice of corporate communications and public affairs has been my purpose since joining what was Shandwick in 1997. There’s still time for a little more of that in 2018 and beyond and I am ready for that opportunity.”

McLeod’s move comes after he and UK CEO Rachel Friend made a number of hires in newly-created senior roles across his division: in March, Anthony Marlowe (pictured, left, with McLeod) moved from Edelman to become public affairs MD, and last month ex-Edelman and Centrica director Sarah Richardson joined as UK corporate practice managing director.